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back to article France passes three-strikes bill

France's lower house has approved an amended version of the controversial three-strikes legislation intended to crack down on illegal downloads. The French National Assembly passed the anti-piracy bill today by a 285 votes to 225, with the ruling majority UMP in favor and the Socialist Party leading opposition votes. Before the …

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Anonymous Coward

jail time?

"After first being sent a warning email and then a formal letter by Hadopi, those accused of illegal file-sharing for a third time could be disconnected for up to a year and face a €300,000 fine and jail time."

Presumably jail time would require a court process, so they'll say "you will disconnected unless you appeal", so you then appeal, and they then up the claim to jail time and huge fine, thus deterring people from seeking their judicial rights?

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Warning email

What proportion of those warning emails will get blocked as spam?

And what proportion will *be* spam, faked emails to get people to give up their passwords or install malware?

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FAIL

Why?

Why must governments continually treat the people like criminals? Don't get me wrong, downloading music and movies you do go out of your way for, but what about copyright on images? Do a quick google image search and BANG, one strike?

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This is France...

Why aren't they burning MP3's in the streets?!

There has to be some counter-penalty for false accusations too here, otherwise the collection agency would be stupid not to email and write to everyone in the country ready to pounce at the €300,000 windfall for anyone caught. Because those pesky kids cost Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Halliday €300,000 each, y'know...

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Megaphone

Yeah, yeah, yeah...

That Higher Authority sounds like a perfect dumping ground for worthy individuals that need to get a sinecure job until retirement. With a pay rise of course.

So, any counterbalancing discussion of limiting copyright statutes? Didn't think so.

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Evil Empire

Welcome the new Branch of the MPAA/RIAA: France.

how many other coutry can the MPAA/RIAA afford to buy?

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FAIL

"those accused of illegal file-sharing"

Accused of...?

Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights says:

* * * * *

1. In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgment shall be pronounced publicly but the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interests of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.

2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

3. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:

a to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;

b to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence;

c to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require;

d to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;

e to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.

* * * * *

Yet this law allows for fines and jail based, it seems, simply on accusations. It also allows for an [quote]"ordonnance pénale" - a simplified proceeding that doesn't include the presence of the person accused of copyright infringement unless an appeal is filed.[unquote]

Hmm, so the music and media industry is more interested in protecting their profits than protecting human rights...

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Gates Horns

I say...

... start blackmailing: forge packets or hack WiFis.

Primary targets are government officials, CEOs (and the likes), and old/disabled people. The first two groups are there to slap them of reality. The last group is there to start the "outcry" since it's easier to attract sympathy when they are the victim's of such policy/law (as opposed to "normal" people).

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@ Graham Marsden

Good point, but they might be able to get around that particular obstacle by claiming it's a civil offense, not a criminal one. However, I think the French presumption of innocence clause covers both., so hopefully the court will scuttle this one as well.

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Welcome

I welcome the new law...

.... since it will set an example for other countries and show them that it is pointless. If the law fails, and more importantly the MPAA/RIAA *finally* realise that it doesn't work, we might get a quite internet it once again.

so yes, I welcome the new law (especially since it will be tried on someone else)

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Stop

When this crap hits the UK I have an idea

Why dont we the consumer demand that any musician found guilty of using illegal drugs be banned from access to hospitals and the NHS. Seems to be the same level of sanity there bestowing upon us.

I smell a online petition comming.

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FAIL

RE:"those accused of illegal file-sharing" #

"Hmm, so the music and media industry is more interested in protecting their profits than protecting human rights..."

I find it a bit more interesting and frightening that the government of a "free" nation are more interested in protecting the profits of the music and media industry. But maybe that's just me.

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FAIL

New laws are NOT necessary.

Copyright holders already have a legal process to follow. If they don't choose to use it, tough.

They frequently bleat that it's expensive. It is, but mainly for the people they accuse, who can't afford to defend it.

They frequently bleat that it's difficult to prove. That's hardly an excuse to make accusation the only burden of proof required, is it?

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@ Mectron

The MPAA and RIAA have entered a new phase by getting recording artists to strike up Matahari type relationships with world leaders. Bruni is a RIAA agent. You mark my words, Lily Allen will be giving David Cameron blowjobs in anticipation of him becoming PM.

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WTF?

Jail time?

But copyright infringement is a civil matter, where remuneration is sought by one party and paid by the other. Jail is a deterrent / punishment / rehabilitation system for serious or persistent criminal offences.

ECtHR will have a field day with this. Hopefully ECJ will lay the smack down on Sarkozy.

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Anonymous Coward

Nice to know...

that France has so few problems that its governing body can afford the time to drop their trousers, bend over and open their collective ass cheeks to big business.

Copyright infringement should be a civil matter, the copyright holders have the means to seek redress should they wish to, and the accused infringer has the means to mount a defence.

The huge copyright holders wanted this to become a criminal matter to save themselves the cost of protecting their own property. If having infringement revert to a civil matter would save or earn these businesses €0.01 per year they would demand that the law be changed again.

You politicians who voted for this law have become the puppets of the organizations who are robbing your constituents. If you had any honour you would resign.

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European Convention on Human Rights

As Graham Marsden points out, this law is probably in conflict with the European Convention on Human Rights, to which all member states are signed up. AFAIK, the EU are looking at the French legislation with this in mind.

It is the same issue as in the UK - the media owners and their representatives have found the issue of due process expensive and time-consuming. They have to actually prove what they claim - it would be convenient if they could just skip that step and have someone penalised without the tricky issues of proof and defence getting in the way.

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@Graham Marsden

"Everyone charged with a criminal offence"

At the moment, copyright infringement is not a criminal offence. Of course, the *AA, BPI etc etc are getting their way and we're moving closer towards it...

... Our governments obviously don't mind using copyright as an excuse to deep packet inspect all the internet traffic 'cos then they get to spy on all the paedos, terrorists, dissidents, opposing party supporters and your mum.

Twats.

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Anonymous Coward

@ AC 7:58

"Nice to know that France has so few problems that its governing body can afford the time to drop their trousers, bend over and open their collective ass cheeks to big business."

Er shouldn't that be:

"Nice to know that France has so few problems that its governing body can afford the time to make their whole serfdom drop their trousers, bend over and open their collective ass cheeks for a huge rimming by big business."

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@Graham Marsden

It's not that "the music and media industry is more interested in protecting their profits than protecting human rights..."

It's not a matter of interest, it's that they are actually sacrificing (and have persuaded the republic peoples representatives to do so) human rights for profit.

Sam

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@ Futumsh

ah, now I understand what the purpose of "Lily Allen" is

it had escaped me until now, thanks mate!

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"ordonnace pénale"

My comment is not intended to be for or against this law, I just want to explain what an "ordonnace pénale" ("penal order" in english) is.

It is a procedure that already exists in France. It is not being introduced by this law. It allows the prosecutor to notify you by letter of a proposed sentence (monetary, general interest work, compulsory treatment, but not jail time). You can either accept the sentence or reject it and go to court where the prosecutor will again suggest the sentence but a judge will decide.

It is inspired by the "plead guilty" procedure in the US with the notable difference that it is strictly limited to minor offeces. There is no way to handle a murder case through a penal order in France.

This simplified procedure was put in place to save time and it does save a lot of time and money to the juducuary administration indeed.

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Anonymous Coward

Democracy gone .... missing?

This proves once again that - in all our western countries - our vote counts as nothing before the whims of big business, whether it's a media industry gone mad, or banksters doing more damage than 9/11 and then walking away.

As my late father used to say, "If voting ever changed anything, they wouldn't allow it"....

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Well . . .

. . . since France are already being investigated for over 100 breaches of EU law, whats another one to add to the books ?

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@ a couple of people

@Futumsh

Funny you should mention 'Guiding the' Lilly Allen, I've just read in today's Metro (Free newspaper) that Allen has written in her blog that piracy is turning the British Music Industry into "nothing but puppets paid for by Simon Cowell", making it "harder and harder for new acts to emerge".

So a fairly accurate assessment of the British music industry from Allen.

Strange comments though from somebody who initially built her fan base by sharing her music on MySpace.

I don't know if Sarky is worried that Carla's ..... em, music will pirated, but having heard her sing I don't think she has too much to worry about

@Burnblaze

Rimming? did you mean Reaming

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Anonymous Coward

Ordonnace pénale are from judges

"It is a procedure that already exists in France. It is not being introduced by this law. It allows the prosecutor to notify you by letter of a proposed sentence"

Not quite so, judges issue ordonnace pénale, they are NOT proposals for penalties, they are "you are guilty of this speeding ticket, I have seen the evidence and accepted it, pay 100 euros or appeal against it" type of claim. Not *prosecutors* in the English sense, judges, not *proposed* penalties *actual ones* with a judge reviewing *evidence* for guilt before hand.

Sarkozy's law takes out the judge part, conviction swapped to allegation, and evidence... well that is not an impartial office, so the evidence will be nothing more than accusation level, not to the standard a judge requires.

So yes, this REALLY breaks some incredible new grounds here, and for such a trivial thing as copyright infringement. Of course all the costs are moved from the copyright industry to the taxpayer. Apparently it's not worth the copyright holder paying those costs, but somehow there is a financial gain if the taxpayer pays those.

It's such a pity about Sarkozy, electors had high hopes, but he lives the life of a playboy millionaire, and the lobbyists that put him there really call the shots. He is also the biggest threat to the stable running of the Euro, he's been the biggest voice on the "oh, just print somemore money, nobody will notice" side of the economic debate.

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5 minutes guilty verdict a.k.a. "Fast Track" for judges? France lost it completely???

Seriously: WTF???

I hope people will vote all these arrogant clueless retards out at the next election... this is crazy, plain and simple.

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